Don't hit the spam button when you actually just want to unsubscribe

If you receive a newsletter, and actually feel like you don’t want it (anymore), use the unsubscribe option! These days it happens a lot that people just click spam or junk in their email clients, even when it is not the case. Hotmail has been looking at the spam complaints received through their interface feedback, and the following has been the result:

” In fact, 75% of email identified as spam by our customers actually turns out to be unwanted graymail that they receive as a result of having signed up on a legitimate website.”

This is a quote from a post which I discussed here earlier: it’s on the Windows Live Team blog and called ‘Hotmail declares war on graymail‘. Graymail? It should not exist because it will affect legitimate businesses in the long run. Hotmail however has started this campaign.
However, using the junk/spam button if you don’t want something anymore when it is actually something that you have opted-in for yourself is wrong. Why? Because you can impact a sender’s legitimate reputation and others receiving email from them, that’s why.
Chris Pirillo explains how and what in this video:

Remember, if you didn’t sign up for any newsletter or advertising and you are receiving it, feel free to hit the spam button. But never forget what you subscribe for! Quite some organizations out there are using email marketing in a serious way and do not want to spam and alienate you. They will honor the unsubscribe, so you should honor the unsubscribe button.
Also, other people that really do want to receive the email from those companies you’re impacting with your junk button usage might have those email end up directly in their junk folder instead of their inbox. You wouldn’t want that to happen, would you? Honest companies would go out of business, while all you (and I) really want to do is take out the businesses that are spamming.
To everyone working at an ESP: please spread the word. It will help your business and that of your clients to make the usage of the junk button fair, and let people honor the unsubscribe button.

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7 thoughts on “Don't hit the spam button when you actually just want to unsubscribe

  1. You’re putting a lot of faith in these companies understanding that they should make the unsubscribe process as simple as possible! I make a point of marking email as spam only IF the unsubscribe option a.) is non-existent or b.) makes me jump through a hundred and one hoops to remove myself (and in some instances, still doesn’t seem to unsubscribe me as I continue receiving mail from the offending senders anyway)
    I’m all for the legitimate use of email marketing but if you’re going to make it hard for me to remove myself when your offers are no longer of interest to me, expect the worst!

  2. Great article Remy, I was inspired to comment, however it became very long, so I’ve had to move it to my place, if you don’t mind the linkification that is?
    My point is that often senders get inconvenienced that they are punished when they’ve done nothing wrong, “we can’t stop people hitting the spam button instead” I get told, I beg to differ: The sender has more control than you may think…

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